Office of Local Sustainability

Vietnam Forests and Deltas Program
Vietnam Forests and Deltas Program
Du an Rung va Dong bang

USAID’s Office of Local Sustainability (E3/LS) leads the Agency’s work on locally led development. By working through innovative and flexible programs that strengthen the capacity of USAID Missions to better serve and partner with local communities, USAID is able to help reduce dependence on foreign aid.

USAID strongly believes that partnering directly with local leaders, networks and institutions better enables and empowers communities to respond to complex development challenges with smarter, more resilient, and home-grown solutions.

E3/LS aligns its work with that of the entire Agency - and the broader development community - to inform flexible programming and operations that prioritize locally led development. E3/LS’ client-centered approach equips Missions with the knowledge, skills, tools, and resources to: leverage local capacities and resources; engage with local systems in ways that build upon and strengthen local leadership, capacity, and self-reliance; and be inclusive of marginalized populations.

Today, more and more USAID Missions and Operating Units are incorporating locally led development principles throughout the Agency’s program cycle, policies, and operations. View an interactive map of E3/LS programming.


E3/LS’ portfolio includes the flagship Local Works program in 24 countries; Cooperative Development Program agreements in 17 countries; and the Peace Corps Small Project Assistance (SPA) program, supporting more than 50 USAID-Peace Corps cooperating countries.


USAID’s Local Works is a unique program designed to advance locally owned development and enhance the Agency’s ability to empower local actors to take the lead in identifying and addressing development challenges. Current Local Works Missions include: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burma, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Kenya, Kosovo, Macedonia, Malawi, Morocco, Nepal, Paraguay, Philippines, Serbia, Timor Leste, Uganda, Vietnam, West Africa Regional, and Zimbabwe.


USAID’s Cooperative Development Program uses U.S. cooperatives and cooperative development expertise to advance locally owned and led development objectives. Through CDP, cooperative development organization partners strengthen the capacity of local cooperatives and improve enabling environments to help cooperative businesses meet the evolving needs of their members. Currently, CDP is working in agriculture, finance, health, energy, and information technology in the following countries: Burkina Faso, Colombia, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mexico, Mongolia, Paraguay, Peru, Rwanda, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, and Uganda.


The Small Project Assistance Program is a 35-year-old collaboration between USAID and Peace Corps to support local community development. SPA is driven by the two agencies’ common commitment to reaching motivated communities—especially those beyond the reach of traditional development organizations—with locally driven, effective, sustainable interventions led by trained Peace Corps Volunteers living and working in hard-to-reach communities. SPA empowers local leaders to lead and own development solutions and processes in the present and into the future. The Peace Corps and USAID support community-level development projects in several sectors, including: health,education, agriculture, gender equality, and small enterprise development.


In 2015, USAID’s Office of Local Sustainability notified the public of the opportunity to collaborate with USAID to find better ways of supporting locally led development. Ideas included ways to strengthen networks of local actors, increase access to domestic resources, map local networks, understand constituent perspectives, monitor complex social changes, measure and track shifts in social capital, and facilitate multi-stakeholder processes.



ES/LS manages the Agency’s Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for Locally Led Development Innovation. The BAA allows USAID Operating Units (OUs) to co-create, co-design, co-invest, and collaborate in the research, development, piloting, testing, and scaling of innovative, practical, and cost-effective interventions to catalyze locally led development.

E3/LS has issued the BAA’s first Addendum, "New Directions in Advancing Locally Led Development," which seeks short Expressions of Interest on the following:

  • Engaging the Local Private Sector
  • Conflict, Post-Conflict, and Non-Permissive Environments
  • Effective Partnerships
  • The Changing Role of the Donor
  • Local Giving, Philanthropy, and Other Private Resources

Expressions of Interest are due to no later than 11:59pm EDT on Friday, July 12, 2019.  


ES/LS manages the Agency’s Locally Led Development Annual Program Statement (APS).  The APS allows USAID Operating Units to solicit innovative and adaptive development approaches from local and non-traditional partners, furthering USAID’s Journey to Self-Reliance for partner countries by empowering local actors to lead priority-setting, decision-making, management, and measurement in their communities.  The APS restricts eligibility to local organizations that do not already do significant business with USAID - and streamlines the solicitation process for awards that advance self-reliance and local leadership. By capping the maximum award amount at 25 percent of the prime awardee’s organization’s annual operating budget, the APS ensures that awards do not exceed a local organization’s absorptive capacity.

For more information, please contact E3/LS at 

Local Sustainability Newsletters

Last updated: June 11, 2019

Share This Page